OCTOBER 12, 2022:
The 2022 Operation Dry Water (ODW)
award winners were recognized in-person on Thursday, September 29, at the awards ceremony during the NASBLA Annual Conference in Manchester, New Hampshire. The ODW Officer of the Year, Top Agencies and Media Award winners were honored for their hard work and dedication to boating under the influence prevention and the Operation Dry Water campaign. The Operation Dry Water Awards Program
recognizes law enforcement officers and agencies that are making a positive impact on boating under the influence (BUI) enforcement and outreach within their communities.
The 2022 Operation Dry Water Officer of the Year
is Officer Specialist Nicole Basford of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). Over the Operation Dry Water weekend, Officer Specialist Nicole Basford made four arrests for boating under the influence. Officer Specialist (OS) Basford is a ten-year veteran of conservation law enforcement who showed an interest and capability for BUI enforcement early in her career. She is Breath Test Operator certified, has completed the Advanced Roadside Impaired Detection Enforcement Course, the FWC Intoxilyzer Inspector Course, the NASBLA BUI Instructor Course, and is currently the Agency Intoxilyzer Inspector for FWC’s Northwest Region. Over the course of her career, OS Basford has made 58 BUI/DUI cases, mentored countless officers and investigators regarding BUI enforcement, trained new officers and led targeted BUI enforcement details. In addition to her patrol duties, OS Basford is a BUI instructor at the FWC Academy and teaches the BUI curriculum in the Northwest Region and for partner agencies.
The 2022 Operation Dry Water Top Agency
awards are based on officer participation and BUI arrests during the Operation Dry Water weekend and is broken down into three categories – small, medium and large. This year’s Small Category Top Agency
is the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department. This award was presented to Deputy Jesus Ramirez. Over the course of the three-day heightened enforcement weekend, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department deployed three officers who made 15 boating under the influence arrests.
This year’s Medium Category Top Agency
Award is given to the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources. Captain Michael Strickland accepted the award on behalf of the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources. During the three-day Operation Dry Water weekend, the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources deployed 26 officers who made 10 boating under the influence arrests.
The 2022 Large Category Top Agency
award winner is the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. This award was presented to the North Carolina boating law administrator (BLA), Major Ben Meyer. Over the course of the Operation Dry Water weekend, the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission deployed 153 officers and made 65 boating under the influence arrests.
The final award presented during the Annual Conference was the Operation Dry Water Media Award
. This award recognizes
an agency that used media outreach platforms to promote awareness of the Operation Dry Water campaign and to make a difference in recreational boating safety by educating boaters and raising awareness about the dangers of boating under the influence on our nation’s waterways. The 2022 Operation Dry Water Media Award
winner is the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA). This award was presented to Amy Snider-Spencer, TWRA Outreach and Communications for Region 1. TWRA is the sole state agency responsible for enforcing the boating laws of the state of Tennessee. The TWRA officers, command staff, and media team have taken a powerful stance and role in educating and enforcing boating under the influence laws. These efforts are always magnified through their participation in the Operation Dry Water campaign. The TWRA Boating & Law Enforcement Division hosted a press conference on July 1, 2022, in Nashville, Tennessee, in partnership with NASBLA, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary. This press event was designed to bring national attention to the fact that boating under the influence is driving under the influence and should be viewed by boaters, prosecutors, judges and the public as one in the same. In addition to this, wildlife officers conducted numerous media engagements to talk about the Operation Dry Water campaign. This included radio show appearances, social media messages, and videos to increase awareness of the dangers associated with boating while impaired.
NASBLA would like to thank all of the award winners for their year-round passion for BUI detection and prevention. Our partners’ willingness to ensure that boaters are safe on the water is what makes this campaign successful. Thank you to all of the agencies and partners involved in this year’s Operation Dry Water campaign, we appreciate all that you do throughout the year to help put a stop to boating under the influence.###
Operation Dry Water (ODW) is a year-round boating under the influence awareness and enforcement campaign with the mission of reducing the number of alcohol- and drug-related accidents and fatalities through increased recreational boater awareness and by fostering a stronger and more visible deterrent to alcohol use on the water.
Operation Dry Water was launched in 2009 by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) in partnership with the U.S. Coast Guard. Operation Dry Water is produced under a grant from the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, administered by the U.S. Coast Guard and is a product of the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators.